They came from beneath the ground!

The recon team who went to find Yi actually found her with surprisingly little trouble. It turned out that after 5000 years in her own world she built a new one and was the sole goddess of it. While there were some complications her children were basically able to find her instantly as this new world is densely populated with spirits they can commune with. The real complication was more of a moral dilemma, she had spent thousands of years in an environment of her own making that was utopian in its own way. There was no Azazel or other such things to muck with it and her world is filled with peaceful spirits who draw energy purely from the twin suns of her particular planet. Essentially we just showed up and asked her to leave peace and quiet behind to return to war.

Other then that, she’s also changed a lot in five thousand years. Having now long exceeded her expected lifespan since she was born human and with no concept of becoming a god, that was sort of inevitable. It seems that after the millenia of solitude in a world of her own creation, she’s grown a bit of an ego and actually sees herself as a goddess. She no longer has that streak of humility where she claims to serve the spirits, the world, and the pantheon, now she outright asserts herself as the divine empress and commands spirits to obey regardless of their disapproval over anything she might want to do.

She has become vastly more powerful then before, she even has control over demons since they were made with spirit experiments back when Pandora first made the race. Upon returning to our world she took over control of Yggdrasil immediately which freaked Pandora out for a moment when she lost control of it and didn’t know that was the exact instant Song Yi walked through the dream door and returned. Unfortunately this power is all based on normal spirits that inhabit nature peacefully and not dark spirits. Her ability to create and restore things is vastly stronger then before and she can create continents if she wants to, but her ability to destroy things and fight have actually diminished as she hasn’t really been training for combat all this time. She thought we were dead and the war was over, and dark spirits are the key element to what made her so scary back in the older eras. As such even if she is more powerful then a dragon lord now, she can’t actually beat one in a fight because her abilities lack combative applications. She could destroy all of Drakon by sinking the continents, waiting for them to get tired of flying, then let them drown in an infinite ocean but she doesn’t really want to genocide Drakon. She stated she’s just here to get the conflict over with as quickly as possible so she can get us through the gate and call it a day before we cull 70% of the population in a full scale apocalypse all over again.

Naomi has surrendered the title of Divine Empress back to Song Yi, especially since Song Yi made it clear it wasn’t optional. That ego thing we mentioned before kicks in, she sees herself as the supreme goddess compared to us. Given she could actually end all life on this world if she wanted to by exploiting our weak point, a need for food and air, perhaps it isn’t all that undeserved of an ego.

In other news the assault on Gorakamen changed midway through the mission, Song’s return being so easy meant the champions who had gone to rescue her could now go help that fight and also that they could now kill him instead of going through the effort of taking him prisoner. Yi has commented that no dragon lord can overpower her control over the world, so whatever earth dragon pops up is not going to be able to collapse the underworld as long as she is around. Though she didn’t personally join the battle since she isn’t strong enough to fight anymore, she cut off Gorakamen from his own abilities of geomancy and made the assault much easier for us. Turns out taking up residence on the Lengdon mountains where she is strongest was a bad idea.

No one important really died given dragons can’t reap so those who died will be back in no time. Though Kalena and Eztli will be out of comission for a little bit along with a good portion of Daezra’s champions and Lu Tao most notably.

With Hei and Alakira coming back from their trip to find Song midway through the battle they were able to join the battle and help press the assault against striders forced to rely purely on their weapon skills since their abilities were cut off. Ragara also proved how over the top she is by pulling Abaddon style nukes all over the place during the battle and Song Yi had to fix all the craters afterward.

Maukala managed to get some progress done with the turtle. It stood up midway through the war with Gorakamen, turned right, and bit the dragon lord’s head off. Apparently its a snapping turtle. This turned out to be the finisher of that battle as well, then it sat back down and hasn’t moved since. He’s not sure if he should count this as a success or not.

Meanwhile the sabotage team has been roaming around messing with Voynaye’s territory, he still hasn’t woken up from hibernation yet though. We suspect he will soon once someone wakes him up after Gorakamen’s death and the return of our empire. However, Eret has told us they still don’t know that Gorakamen’s powers stopped working or that Yi is back. Without godvision their intelligence is limited to actual scouting and Yi’s forests have kept a few thousand striders permanently lost in them to prevent them from ever delivering that report.

Raven and her people were the ones to liberate Song Cao and Milenkosi since no one else volunteered and Devadas still wanted it done. This caused all havoc to break loose instantly. They are currently rampaging through Voynaye’s territory where they were stored. Ironically despite their natural inclination to kill the people who made them, they simply can’t find them. Song Yi and other mystics keep them perpetually lost in the woods only able to stumble upon Drakon assets. Though the rate of occurrence for random dying in your sleep has definitely gone up since Milenkosi got free.

Shento:

So far no luck in finding Anna Goethe, the best bet would be Ryner but he’s been busy this month.

The black order is composed of mildly powerful black mages that 5000 years ago might have actually been really scary given they feed on striders. But our demigods still far outclass them. They have basic armaments and some hidden outposts scattered around the world, coincidentally the location of the old Jakaal pit in the east is one of these outposts.  Notably they haven’t yet found out about avatars or the ascension effect as they don’t tend to live long enough to pull that off against Drakon by themselves. They actually think Helandrea is a god since they don’t understand avatars.

Lin Sun:

Scarlet gets more gear, though still doesn’t rival the arsenal of Inaji since Inaji is the custom creator of much of it.

Post durgon war, Freyja isn’t really sure what to do yet again. If you had asked earlier she was all for beating the whole Drakon down and going through the gate with everyone else but then Song Yi came back. Yi’s return has sort of ruled out a full Drakon beatdown, as Yi is only going to help us get through the gate and it isn’t clear what she intends to do afterward. She kind of wants in on that utopian peace world Yi created in her imprisonment as opposed to the endless war of the swarm, but she’s wary of how different Yi is and is still feeling out this dictator Yi thing.

Hanging out with Devadas results in you playing a lot of chess. Devadas’ major lesson is from chess, think as many moves ahead as possible. Basically he’s like the battlefield version of Eret but without the actual power, he just tries to predict the enemies responses as best as he can and prepare a series of moves ahead of time to counter it.

Scarlet is offended she’s not included in family day but her mother is.

Underworld:

Down in the underworld we’ve seen a great period of change thanks to the return of Yi. She sent all of our crops and cake mushrooms into overdrive and now some civilians run a significant risk of getting fat and lazy. However, her return caused a lot of other waves in the political spectrum. Since she assumed herself as the empress immediately upon returning it happened rather fast. Naomi gracefully gave the title back to her, but the vast majority of our gods and people have never seen or met Song Yi before that day she came and took over. She was simply a figure of legend and myth, and this has caused a lot of split opinions in her takeover.

Some consider it the fulfillment of prophecy and gladly accept her as the new Empress since they’ve been told since they were kids that she was the real one and all of our efforts to build up down here would culminate in her rescue, others are wary of this strange woman who is a little different then the tales. She is no longer a warrior as they expected to lead us against Drakon and instead is some strange naked woman who didn’t even take up residence in the underworld. Song Yi moved back into Yaosai and reclaimed its empty cavern, even raising it a bit so it would be definitively the highest mountain she could watch over the world from.

With some prodding from Van Tien, Song Yi at least took some efforts to make it clear she wasn’t a random naked woman wandering around the cities. She radiates a soft glow and her footsteps leave growing plant life purely for theatric effect. People had gotten used to Van Tien being weird, and Van made a point of making sure Song Yi looked like a goddess not another nudist prankster. This effect had a major impact though, as everyone who sees her definitely recognizes her as some sort of super goddess since only Naomi also glows in incarnated form. This has helped sway a lot of the people who encounter her to accepting that she didn’t take authority for nothing.

Despite her actions also proving she is really more about preservation and creation now then war, the theatrical glow and plant life reacting to her presence has helped cement that concept in people’s minds that despite the legends they got something else.

Devadas and Naomi still carry out the majority of war plans as they try to reacclimate Song Yi to this world though she has been difficult to deal with since she seems convinced about just taking time to do whatever she feels like instead of helping with the war efforts. Song has spent her time keeping an eye on her kids and with Izumi more then anything else.

Political parties were eliminated when Song Yi just forced all the gods to now show up in her grand temple to conduct business merely as her advisors. While little cliques of likeminded gods still exist, there aren’t really the same political games we’ve once had where their opinions on how things are being run cause constant conflict of plans. This has somewhat damaged Freyja’s hot spring council as well as Lucifer and Pandora’s gate seekers alliance, now Song Yi runs the whole show. This has caused some strife as it is a similar situation to Amaterasu, being imprisoned for thousands of years leaves one out of touch with the ongoing state of affairs. Though unlike Amaterasu, Song Yi is a lot more authoritative due to seeing herself as the rightful ruler of all of us and doesn’t bother trying to keep everyone happy as she can. So far no one has been brave enough to disobey or raise too adamant a resistance because Naomi hasn’t said anything about it so far.

Naomi in particular is keeping an eye on Yi. She is wary of Yi’s new “I own everyone” attitude and where it could lead but given that Yi’s actions so far seem more interested in minimizing the war and keeping things alive longer so far she has no reason to take action against the freed Empress.

Drakon:

Our machinations give us a view into whats going on deep within the Drakon empire. They clearly don’t know Song is back but they do know our empire is after the death of Gorakamen. They went through the effort to wake up Voynaye who was immediately occupied dealing with the Akuma loose in his territory instead of riding out to prepare for war. A new earth dragon lord was raised by Vsemo as per his rules that there must be each of the elemental lords at all times but this one is back on the main continent.

Several acts of independent sabotage have happened around their nation as Lucifer, Haval, and Shento’s many machinations come to fruition and cultists of all sorts turn on their own empire tempted by power they don’t really realize comes from dragon magic in the first place. Thankfully they never were able to make artifacts quite like ours so these cultists are still easily tempted by such things.

Meanwhile they sent one of their greatest champions from Drakon to our continent to help deal with us, Eret Daiheb. Abalam has voiced some concern over this turn of events, while they don’t know Eret is working with us he also can’t just feign incompetence given they know his powers. More importantly, it was likely this was part of Eret’s plan in the first place and Devadas agrees Eret is seeing several steps ahead of this conflict to execute some other sort of master plan we’re not privy to. Due to his association with Vechnost, Eret is based out of what was once Divus under the command of Vsemo.

The nation as a whole is on high alert given the amount of chaos we caused and are searching the world for dream portals specifically, they believe that is where we were hiding this whole time and that is the key to us being able to appear and disappear to assault Gorakamen with such a massive force as to actually kill him. Not to mention the turtle suddenly springing up and biting him, they saw that one from across the continent. They don’t seem to have any idea that we live underground or that all our portals are also down under the earth.

Plans:

Devadas has had to recalculate his master strategy as he didn’t expect us to rescue Song Yi so easily, nor for her to be as powerful as she is and also as noncombative. Unfortunately Sozrushatel’s powers aren’t cut off by Song Yi’s the way Gorakamen was and the elemental dragons aren’t the ones we need to fight to get through to the gate right now.

There is an ongoing war council to discuss further plans, currently Devadas at the behest of Yi finds the best option for now to be to go right after Sozrushatel before the Drakon Empire can regroup and figure out whats going on and just exit stage right before this goes into a full length war. The main complication with that is Sozrushatel won’t be cut off from his abilities by Yi and is one of the strongest dragon lords with the second most militant following.

His territory is vastly larger then Gorakamen’s and now Eret is kind of sort of a primary commander in thwarting us and we have no idea how that’s going to go. Other cosmic dragons and striders are near both gates as well and we’re still not sure how to defeat any of those for sure other then hope our demigods are strong enough to do so unlike last time around.

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